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Religion: A Mental Illness?
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Posted 2/28/12 , edited 2/28/12
Are we really still going with this? Opener is a spoiled brat who believes he's far more intelligent than everybody else and because not everybody see's things his way he has to come up with a justification on how someone could possibly thing differently than him and in turns resorts to the possibility that it's a mentality issue, thus putting people below him. He feeds off this so as to make himself feel superior and opened this thread to find, and most likely sway people to his way of thinking.
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Posted 2/28/12 , edited 2/28/12
@Mangasurf

I don't think I saw the OP comments as an attack (but as an atheist I might not have picked up on it), but I do agree that the person does seem in crisis. I did believe though that was the point of the post, that they were asking a question about religion, because they were looking for an intellligent discussion from multiple views, then the thing got out of hand and became a semantic argument and flaming.

@ ShogunSides

You make a good point about fundementalism, there is plenty that is not religious. A good example are athletes and artist who follow a routine, for lack of a better word religiously. It does seem to be part of the human condition that we like our routines and somepeople take this to an extreme, sometimes it is benine other times it is not.
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Posted 2/28/12 , edited 2/28/12

Yuyunarutoballz wrote:

Are we really still going with this? Opener is a spoiled brat who believes he's far more intelligent than everybody else and because not everybody see's things his way he has to come up with a justification on how someone could possibly thing differently than him and in turns resorts to the possibility that it's a mentality issue, thus putting people below him. He feeds off this so as to make himself feel superior and opened this thread to find, and most likely sway people to his way of thinking.


this ^



i think i love you too now
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Posted 2/28/12 , edited 2/28/12

Love makes the world go around War does not, and war can come in many different forms. *looks at the thread*
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Posted 2/28/12 , edited 2/28/12


yep, this OP actually has several profiles he uses in case he gets banned (LiteMars, Litears, and a few others i think). I see him from time to time and he's brought up posts like this before... his pretentious and arrogant use of vocabulary and behavior to make himself feel superior to everyone else really ticks me off though.
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Posted 2/28/12 , edited 2/28/12
this argument did get flaming but the beginning of it was decent. i think the question to be asked should have been different and not mental illness that was a little extreme
Posted 2/28/12 , edited 2/28/12


Sorry, but you defined a mental disorder in a specific way (including the idea that it is a behaviour which is not part of a person's culture.) You then stated that religion is partly cultural. As you say in your "Note 2" the idea of "mental disorder" is subjective and judged relative to the norms of the group, therefore a Christian in a Christian culture is not mentally disordered, whereas using your definitions an atheist in said culture would be.


You are correct. Intuition told me that you already knew what I was implying, yet you still proceeded to poke at my use of 'culture'. If you understand that I'm speaking from a scientific perspective, why would you even bother? One of the reasons I wrote Note 2 in the first place, was to avoid situations like this where people are arguing about perspectives.


I think of a "mental disorder" as being something psychological that has a significant negative impact on your ability to function in society. You mentioned lack of empathy in your original post, and I would agree that this is an example of something that would indicate a mental disorder. However, people with religion can (depending on whether they are fundamentalists or just people who happen to follow a particular religion) function well within society, both within their own communities and alongside others. Indeed, I have worked with many people of faith, and I wouldn't call them mentally disordered at all.

Hence my example too. See why it was necessary now?


Nope, you have stated that part of the brain is missing. This suggests physical damage. Perhaps you need to reconsider your language?

Nope.

I don't need to change my post. Obviously "part" does not only refer to "physical" parts. (<--Otherwise that would make an empty adverb) Perhaps you need to reconsider your approach to arguing?


As for your main point in that part of your post, if I am reading it correctly the "missing part of the brain" is the ability to think logically. However, there are plenty of scientists out there with some form of religious belief, and certainly a lot of historical scientists were religious.

Having a religious/spiritual/theistic belief about the origin of the universe, or life after death, doesn't necessarily mean that someone can't think logically, though if taken to extremes it can have that effect (ie. fundamentalists of any faith, theistic or otherwise.)

You did not grasp the main point of the thread at all, if this is where you're at. By the way, mental disorder =/= mental retardation.


I didn't say, or imply, that you are trying to start a flamewar. I said that it could come across as starting a flame war.

you have basically suggested that a significant number of people here are mentally ill, which comes across as an attempt at provoking some sort of flamewar

It's right in front of you. You posted it.


Belief in a god is not the same as religion. I believe that there is some form of god, but I'm not religious. On the other hand, some religions are atheistic (I've seen Buddhism mentioned already), and some of the fundamentalist atheists come across to me as religious.

Then you fit perfectly in the category that I'm referring to.
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Posted 2/28/12 , edited 2/28/12

Hmm. You don't say. Shame, is he really that intent on making his points known one an Anime website? I'm new to Crunchy's forums. Not new to Crunchyroll, been here for almost a year now, but new to the forums as I've just recently decided to participate in them. Gotta say, so far i'm not to thrilled. Anyway, yeah, snobs and know it all's are annoying. Especially the more time you spend around them.
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Posted 2/28/12 , edited 2/28/12
Not all religions are the same, you know? Religions that incorporate supernatural elements (such as an benevolent omniscient being) into their beliefs in a way that requires thinking that supernatural elements exist are different from religions that use supernatural elements as metaphor/teaching tools or don't use supernatural elements at all. (Of course, some overlap may exist between the two. )

As a psychology student who has taken classes in psychological disorders, it's my impression that the serious believers in the former class of religions (including all theistic religions) are suffering (or enjoying?) delusional disorder according to the DSM-IV-TR. Of course, the DSM itself doesn't state as much.

But hey, you can argue that delusional people are happier than sane people. I mean, if you want to believe that your dead child is frolicking happily in the clouds and you'll eventually meet them at some point, which is what I think Christians believe? That's certainly one way of coping with the harshness of real life.

The problem with certain kinds of religions is that they teach you a very dangerous mindset in which to view the world: to believe things based on faith, instead of critical thinking. Like some posters have said, that leads to a lack of flexibility with which you need to deal with complicated, everchanging issues, such as that of ethics for example. With religions that ask you to believe in things that directly contradict reality, that leads to a direct disconnect with what's really happening around you. And that can be dangerous. If everybody today believed that, for example, earth was made in seven days and that it's only a few hundred years old or whatever Christianity teaches, entire fields of knowledge wouldn't exist or be completely warped, take geography for instance. And if the field of geography wasn't as advanced as it is nowadays, we wouldn't be able to try and predict earthquakes or understand why tsunamis happen and so on.

Believing in things that are not real will have consequences, sooner or later. And not all of them will be positive. I mean, it's great that you can use your religion to console yourself or make yourself feel better about life in general, but happily going along with the mass delusion of your choice can be a dangerous thing to do. Not for any single individual, perhaps, but for society in general.

It's like how it's cute and fun for children to believe in Santa Claus, but it would be kinda disturbing if everybody believed that he really existed and that we can really use reindeers to fly. Sooner or later somebody is going to harness reindeers to a sleigh and try to fly off a tall building, and the results are not going to be pretty.

And then of course let's not go into how people use religion for political means. Example: every single religious war that's ever happened ever.

EDIT: Whoah. Looks like I missed a significant part of the thread. Did it explode while I was writing or what.
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Posted 2/28/12 , edited 2/28/12

Yuyunarutoballz wrote:


Hmm. You don't say. Shame, is he really that intent on making his points known one an Anime website? I'm new to Crunchy's forums. Not new to Crunchyroll, been here for almost a year now, but new to the forums as I've just recently decided to participate in them. Gotta say, so far i'm not to thrilled. Anyway, yeah, snobs and know it all's are annoying. Especially the more time you spend around them.


yeah same here, i've only been in the forums for a little over a month now, and I think i won't be returning any time soon. Its funny how he has to post these controversial debates (having nothing to do with anime related subjects) on an Anime site like you said... I don't think you'll find many ( <--sarcastic, since there are none lol) experts here, which is why i think he likes posting: in an effort to raise his own self-esteem and belittle others' in the process.
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Posted 2/28/12 , edited 2/28/12

heIIow wrote:


It's right in front of you. You posted it.


Belief in a god is not the same as religion. I believe that there is some form of god, but I'm not religious. On the other hand, some religions are atheistic (I've seen Buddhism mentioned already), and some of the fundamentalist atheists come across to me as religious.

Then you fit perfectly in the category that I'm referring to.


....How can you put someone in a category you weren't even to sure about in the beginning? And in fact I would argue that he is not in the same category because he stated he is not religious. Well I will concede that is moot, since at least, well I hope you finally realise that religion and belief in God are two different things.

And another note..You do not think someone without any "theism" as you eventually found the term for in the middle of the discussion, in their entire life, eventually grows up, and after all that develop material you quoted, can't use logic to support a belief in God?

" The individual gains the ability of deductive reasoning, abstract thinking, and most importantly, empathy" Can you please furnish proof that someone with "theist" lacks all of them. I fail to see how theism would indicate a lack of those. Expand further please.
Posted 2/28/12 , edited 2/28/12

Maiden_aya wrote:

....How can you put someone in a category you weren't even to sure about in the beginning? And in fact I would argue that he is not in the same category because he stated he is not religious. Well I will concede that is moot, since at least, well I hope you finally realise that religion and belief in God are two different things.


Hi Maiden_Aya! Welcome back to the thread. Just to confirm, are you the same girl that participated in this thread 4 hours ago? Did you forget that you already entered this thread? Because it was you, who helped me clarify my category for what my post was referring to. You even said ! thank you for clarifying!


" The individual gains the ability of deductive reasoning, abstract thinking, and most importantly, empathy" Can you please furnish proof that someone with "theist" lacks all of them. I fail to see how theism would indicate a lack of those. Expand further please.


And finally, thank you for showing that you did not read my post at all.
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Posted 2/28/12 , edited 2/28/12

Why yes I did thank you for clarifying..I have not said anything to affirm or oppose your theory..

I read your post but I'm asking for for proof and references for specifically " The individual gains the ability of deductive reasoning, abstract thinking, and most importantly, empathy".

You gave somewhat evidence for empathy..but all I'm asking is for scientific..logical proof to support that very statement. Do not try to side rail with "witty" remarks please. I'm afraid my mind can only deal with facts, and I just want to see them. I never said that you couldn't but please furnish proof.

Edit: And how is it a discussion if questions aren't raised and answered. Is to be a lecture by you? Or are you seriously looking for input, and not just an outlet to spout?
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Posted 2/28/12 , edited 2/28/12

heIIow wrote:




Sorry, but you defined a mental disorder in a specific way (including the idea that it is a behaviour which is not part of a person's culture.) You then stated that religion is partly cultural. As you say in your "Note 2" the idea of "mental disorder" is subjective and judged relative to the norms of the group, therefore a Christian in a Christian culture is not mentally disordered, whereas using your definitions an atheist in said culture would be.


You are correct. Intuition told me that you already knew what I was implying, yet you still proceeded to poke at my use of 'culture'. If you understand that I'm speaking from a scientific perspective, why would you even bother? One of the reasons I wrote Note 2 in the first place, was to avoid situations like this where people are arguing about perspectives.


The problem is that you have given a definition of "mental disorder", then you have put in "Note 2" which seems to me to be twisting the original definition to fit your own opinion that religion is a mental disorder. You start off with a definition that states that mental disorders are about developing in a way that is abnormal to the person's culture. You then put in "Note 2" which suggests that it is irrelevent, as when the "adults" (who I interpret to represent rationalist atheists) step in the culture of the "children" (in your example belief in Santa, I interpret them to represent religious people) is shown to be incorrect, so immediately the "childrens'" culture is wrong, so by continuing to believe the "children" are effectively mentally disordered, even though their belief is normal within their culture, and thus by your original definition not a mental disorder. You can't have it both ways.



I think of a "mental disorder" as being something psychological that has a significant negative impact on your ability to function in society. You mentioned lack of empathy in your original post, and I would agree that this is an example of something that would indicate a mental disorder. However, people with religion can (depending on whether they are fundamentalists or just people who happen to follow a particular religion) function well within society, both within their own communities and alongside others. Indeed, I have worked with many people of faith, and I wouldn't call them mentally disordered at all.

Hence my example too. See why it was necessary now?


So, if religious people can function well within their own communities and without, how are they suffering from a mental disorder? (I'm excluding fundamentalists, who only seem to be able to function within communities of like-minded individuals.)

I would also argue that lack of empathy (which you cite as an example of religion being a mental disorder) isn't necessarily related to religion. For example, a lot of charities have religious origins.



Nope, you have stated that part of the brain is missing. This suggests physical damage. Perhaps you need to reconsider your language?

Nope.

I don't need to change my post. Obviously "part" does not only refer to "physical" parts. (<--Otherwise that would make an empty adverb) Perhaps you need to reconsider your approach to arguing?


The brain is a physical object. If you said to a doctor that part of someone's brain was missing, they would reasonably assume that a part of the physical object was missing. Though I do accept that I was just being picky when I mentioned it



As for your main point in that part of your post, if I am reading it correctly the "missing part of the brain" is the ability to think logically. However, there are plenty of scientists out there with some form of religious belief, and certainly a lot of historical scientists were religious.

Having a religious/spiritual/theistic belief about the origin of the universe, or life after death, doesn't necessarily mean that someone can't think logically, though if taken to extremes it can have that effect (ie. fundamentalists of any faith, theistic or otherwise.)

You did not grasp the main point of the thread at all, if this is where you're at. By the way, mental disorder =/= mental retardation.


I didn't say that a mental disorder was the same as mental retardation.

From your original post:


Nowadays it has become common for people to not fully reach the formal operational stage, which is clearly a problem in mental development. It is an illness in a psychological pattern, reflected in behaviour, and is not considered part of a normal development of a human being. Therefore, it is a mental disorder.
If society would pinpoint this problem and fix the issue, scientific development would increase significantly as a huge number of people would gain the ability to think logically - henceforth the amount of scientists delving in scientific research would increase too. The reason no one can convince the religious is because they are missing a significant part of the brain. It’s like trying to describe to a color-blind person the color red.


I read this to mean that being religious meant that someone would not have developed the cognitive ability to think logically. My argument is that there are plenty of scientists who have had religious beliefs but have clearly been able to apply logical thinking. I would go further and say that there are plenty of non-scientists who are have religious beliefs but think logically.

If I have misinterpreted this part of your post, I apologise.



I didn't say, or imply, that you are trying to start a flamewar. I said that it could come across as starting a flame war.

you have basically suggested that a significant number of people here are mentally ill, which comes across as an attempt at provoking some sort of flamewar

It's right in front of you. You posted it.


I said that you could come across as trying to start a flamewar, ie. it could be interpreted as such, even if that wasn't your intention. I didn't intend to imply otherwise, as I can't know your intentions when you made the first post, I was only saying that I would not be surprised if it the thread got locked as it could be interpreted as trying to provoke something due to the language used, and aiming a personal insult at someone in your original post (ie. "Here is an example of a monke- I mean an individual") and that you could not just say it is "a clear indication that something is wrong with modern society."


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Posted 2/28/12 , edited 2/28/12
I don't understand this war on the net that has taken place in the past few years between atheists and people with spiritual beliefs. Prove to me that when you die, that's it you cease to exist. On the other hand prove to me that when you die you go to some afterlife. That's the thing neither view is provable and without 100% proof you will never succeed in converting others. In other words in my opinion it's a waste of energy to try to prove either point.
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